Arvind Kejriwal, leader of Aam Aadmi Party, addresses supporters from his office while surrounded by jubilant party members after winning the state assembly election against incumbent Sheila Dikshit in New Delhi (AFP photo)
In a mega political bender, rookie politician Arvind Kejriwal has
defeated three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit in her constituency of
The 44-year-old, who spent the morning meditating at
his party office, emerged to a shower of flowers and cheers once his
victory was confirmed.
"This election showed the way for honest politics. This is an indication that if the Congress and BJP don't change, they will be removed," he said this evening as his supporters
brandished brooms, the symbol of his one-year-old Aam Aadmi Party
He promised that his party would be a "responsible opposition" in Delhi.
Voters mercilessly spurned Ms Dikshit and her party,
permitting the incumbent Congress less than 10 of Delhi's 70 seats. The
BJP has emerged as the maximum seats with 33 seats, two short of what it
needs to form the government. Mr Kejriwal is emphatic that he will
not align with either the Congress or the BJP.
stellar performances of Mr Kejriwal and his AAP have stumped the
Congress and the BJP, who repeatedly dismissed the new organization as
an upstart throughout the campaign for Delhi.
Unshaken, an army
of meticulously-organized volunteers spread Mr Kejriwal's message: that
the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stands for anti-corruption, service and
accountability in a country robbed of effective and clean governance.
"We did not expect a newcomer with no clear agenda to have this sort of impact," admitted the BJP's Chandan Mitra.
of Mr Kejriwal say his party's economic policies are unsound and that
its kinetic energy will not sustain till the national election, due by
The record 65.86% turnout in Delhi is being attributed
partly to an enthusiastic welcome for the AAP, formed after Mr Kejriwal
split from his one-time partner Anna Hazare. In 2011, they invigorated
middle class India with a movement demanding the introduction of the new
anti-graft Lokpal Bill.
After a strong launch, the campaign
dissipated; Mr Kejriwal said he had no choice but to enter politics, a
move Anna said he could not support.